Once the capital of the Republic of Indonesia and an important area in Dutch Colonial times,Bukit Tinggi, ‘high hill’ is the largest city in West Sumatra.
Located 108 kms north of Padang, the city is surrounded by Mount Singgalang, Mount Marapi and Mount Sago, and offers exotic scenery and culture to tourists.
6 cultural sights not to be missed are Lembah Anai, Jam Gadang, Lubang Jepang, Ngarai Sianok, Fort de Kock and Baanjuang Traditional House Museum.
Bukittinggi is located about 2 hours north-east by road from the international airport in Padang. The only way to get there is by car, but all roads are good and smooth. As Bukittinggi is a tourist destination, try to avoid traveling on weekends as the traffic can be quite bad especially when climbing uphill.
DAMRI is the bus operator that goes to Padang (price Rp. 17.500), from there you can continue to Bukittinggi by minivan (“travel”) for the price of Rp. 15.000. Not recommended for those who don’t want to stop at Padang. Several bus companies (such as ALS) run buses from Parapat near Danau Toba. The trip is very winding and rough, and takes approximately 15 hours. Be prepared for bus sickness, and to pay around Rp. 240.000 (as of August 2015). As the trip is uphill from Danau Toba, the one-way fare is more expensive this way than coming from the south.
Numerous buses go from Medan to Jakarta and stop on the way at Bukittinggi.
At BIM(Bandara International Minangkabau)-International Airport of Padang, there’s an official desk where you can order a taxi. The trip price is fixed and you can’t bargain. This is the better and faster way of getting a taxi. A taxi trip to Bukittinggi is Rp. 225.000. You pay 50% of the cost to the driver when getting in and the other 50% at arrival (Dec 2011). Recommended for small groups up to 4 people.
The Airport Taxi use meter now, and they estimate the cost to Bukittinggi to be around 350.000 rupiah.
By chartered minivan.
Known by the locals as “Travel” is cheapest way to get there. The approximate price is about Rp. 30.000/person for one way. The vehicle is a Honda Odyssey 2.4 minivan with a capacity of 7 seats. Keep in mind that the bus driver usually waits until the chair occupation is about 75%. Once the car is “full”, the minivan will depart and take the passengers to their destination.
Ask a local for the location to take a red angkot to Jambu Air (about Rp.2000 – Rp.3000), where you will be able to wait for a minivan to take you to your destination. One way to Padang from Jambu Air, Bukittinggi will cost about Rp.25000/person. The journey will take between 2hrs – 3hrs. Be prepared for a squeeze! Last pick up time from Jambu Air, about 7.00 pm.
The four stars hotels in the city are the The Hills Bukittinggi, Grand Rocky Hotel and Pusako Hotel. Although The Hills Bukittinggi is comfortable place to stay especially for international tourists, the cost is at least Rp. 800.000 for a night; in comparison there are many small hotels around Fort de Kock that are around Rp. 120.000 that are quite nice.
Small budget hotels are easy to find. Many locals offer accommodation which are like family-owned hotels that provide a “feel at home” atmosphere. The prices span from Rp. 200.000 – Rp. 400.000 per room without air-conditioning. Breakfast is sometimes included. There are no lifts in these small hotels, so be prepared if your room is on the upper floors. Room cleaning is not provided everyday in some cases, so don’t hesitate to ask the hotel manager if you want a daily cleaning service.
Hotel Cindua Mato, Jl. Cindur Mato 96 (across the street from the Zoo).
Hotel Grand Malino, Jl. Panorama.
Hotel Pusako, Jl. Sukarno Hatta 7.
Hotel Royal Denai, Jl. Dr Rivai 26.
The Hills Bukittinggi Hotel & Convention, Jl. Laras Dt Bandaro.
Indira Hotel, Jln. Agus Salim No.1.
D’enam Hotel, Jl Yos Sudarso No. 4; located on top of a hill close to the mosque, the clocktower and the park area, friendly and helpful staff.
Aisyah Chalik Hotel, Jln. Cinduamato No. 101 (Opposite of grand kartini hotel). Wifi at lobby, electric hot waters, comfy beds, free breakfast .
Bagindo Hotel, Jln. Jend. Sudirman No. 41-45 (Opposite of grand kartini hotel). Nice hotel . Wifi at lobby,hot water , comfy beds, free breakfast .